By Pat Sherman
The Gaslamp has a new nightspot in AIRR, a combination supper club and nightclub at 526 Market Street, on the site of the former Witherby Hotel.
Owner Amy Noel, a former architecture student and mother of five, says her travels through Europe and the vibe she experienced in restaurants in Paris and Milan inspired the concept.
By incorporating long tables and banquette seating in the dining room, she says she sought to create a "sexy, social atmosphere" where guests share dishes and banter.
"It's a tough economy," Noel says. "If you're going to spend your money, you want a great atmosphere, where you feel like you want to dress up to go out."
The second-floor venue is divided into two contrasting spaces, including an all-red nightclub and bar, where DJs draw from a catalogue of multigenerational rock and blues. Silhouettes of go-go dancers flicker in the windows as potent drinks named after music icons are served. It's hard not to feel like a rock star when drinking a Cobain, a Janis J. or a Muddy Waters.
The dining room is done in pure, minimalist white, from the walls to the tables and seats.
"I kind of wanted to take all the other stimuli out of the room and have it be pure for the wine and dining experience," says Noel, who plans to add a roving food cart, from which chefs will serve items such as duck street tacos; carved, slow-roasted lamb and other daily specials.
AIRR Supper Club and Lounge
Open Wednesday through Sunday, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.
526 Market St., Gaslamp